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The dementia health threat haunting Australians

The dementia health threat haunting Australians
Photo: The dementia health threat haunting Australians
Dementia is not a single disease, it is a blanket term for a range of neurological disorders which impair brain function, including speech, memory, perception and personality. While the symptoms and severity of dementia varies depending on the cause, most are characterized by a gradual onset, progressive nature and are irreversible.

While dementia can affect anyone, it is most common in those over 65 and  two thirds of those suffering from dementia are women. Currently 10% of Australians over 65 and 30% of those over 85 suffer from dementia. It is the third leading cause of death with over 9,000 dementia related deaths in 2010.

In 2010 there were approximately 300,000 Australian living with dementia which related to $4.9 Billion in dementia related spending . With our ageing population this number is expected to increase to almost 1 million by 2050. By 2060 the cost of dementia is expected to be over $83 Billion  per year, outweighing any other health  condition. 

Fast Facts
  • The current economic burden of dementia in Australia is $4.9 Billion
  • Dementia is the #1 future health concern for Australian parents
  • Approx two thirds of people affected by dementia are women
  • Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, responsible for 50-70% of cases
  • There are over 100 disorders which can cause dementia, it is not one specific disease

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